I tell attendees of my Advanced LinkedIn workshop, “Your LinkedIn profile is not your résumé.” It’s important for me to say this, as some of their LinkedIn profiles resemble their résumé. I can spot a copy-and-paste a mile away.
A LinkedIn “résumé” gives off a generic look rather than a unique document that makes LinkedIn a powerful tool for the job search. Potential employers are not looking for a rehash of your résumé; they’re looking for more, another look.
Let’s examine two differences between the résumé and profile.
The most obvious difference between the résumé and LinkedIn profile is the Photo. Because LinkedIn is a networking application and the résumé is a job search document, here is one major difference. A photo on your LinkedIn profile is necessary, as it enhances your brand. It may tell visitor you’re creative, sincere and compassionate, a leader, ambitious, serious, etc.
As well, a profile with a photo is more trustworthy and memorable. A recent statistic states that a profile with a photo is seven times more likely to be opened. I for one will not open a profile if it lacks a photo, unless it’s someone I know.
I tell my attendees that despite their fear of age discrimination, a photo is necessary to network. Imagine attending a networking event where people walk around with a paper bag on their head. Not very personal.
The headline is second on the list of differences between the résumé and LinkedIn profile. An Advanced résumé must have a branding headline that immediately tells potential employers that you are the right person for the job. The headline is a simple line or two of what you do and some of your areas of strength. Here’s an example of a position-specific branding title:
Public Relations ~ Vendor Relations ~ Staff Supervision ~ Web Design ~ Event Coordination
Look at another branding headline that is written for a similar job:
Social Media | Trade Shows | International Travel | Increased Production | Graphic Design
Your LinkedIn profile has a branding headline that is similar to your résumé’s headline, save for the fact the profile isn’t written for a specific job. It needs to include more general skills/keywords. You may choose to use a branding statement instead. The same position may resemble this:
Marketing Specialist with expertise in Public Relations, Trade Shows, Vendor Relations, Web Content,
Event Coordination; leading to increased visibility and profitability for your company.
Furthermore, the branding headline adds to the keyword count for those whose résumé will be sent through an applicant tracking system (ATS). As well it makes being found on LinkedIn more possible with key skills of your occupation and industry/ies.
In the next post, we’ll look at the differences between the résumé’s Core Competencies and the LinkedIn Skills and Expertise sections.